Together We Can Make Education Equity Happen

Millions of students across the United States struggle to read and learn. They may experience challenges due to a learning difference, like dyslexia. Alternatively, they may encounter barriers to accessing their textbooks due to a visual impairment or physical disability. It is our goal to eliminate these barriers to education and literacy through accessible ebooks and materials.

“Having access to digital textbooks via Bookshare is a game changer. It can take a student from feeling ‘I’m so dumb because I can’t read’ to ‘I can learn in other ways and I am just as smart as those other kids.'” -Mary M., Occupational Therapist, Tantasqua Regional School District, MA

Bookshare: A Free Service for All US Schools and Students

Benetech’s Bookshare initiative operates at scale, serving schools and school districts across all 50 states, to provide students with reading barriers the books that they need to learn in accessible formats. Our Bookshare service has millions of books in braille, audio, and other customizable formats. Students use Bookshare to access grade level content and learn in ways that work for them. Thanks to funding from the US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, Bookshare is a free service for all  schools and students.

“Reading doesn’t come easily to everyone, and tools embedded in Bookshare make a powerful difference for students with reading challenges. This support allows families to reinforce learning beyond the regular school day.” – Vince E., Director, AT Services, Harford County Public Schools, MD

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Born Accessible Educational Content

Digital content is on the rise in classrooms across the country, but unfortunately, not all digital content is accessible to students with disabilities and learning differences. Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible (GCA) program is changing the digital publishing landscape to help publishers create accessible educational materials that are born accessible for all students. Teachers, administrators, and procurement specialists can trust that content with the GCA seal is certified accessible.

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Advancing Equity in Literacy

Literacy is an equity and social justice issue. To ensure that all children have the chance to reach their potential, regardless of their socioeconomic status, it is imperative that they receive tools to read and learn. Reading unlocks the ability to achieve success in school and in life. Learn more about our public-private partnership to reduce barriers to obtaining vital reading and literacy supports.

“Students with reading disabilities who use text-to-speech tools such as Bookshare have higher self-esteem, more independent academic functioning, access to grade-level materials, greater remediation effects, and more success in school.” – Kirsten K., AT Director, Redwood Literacy, IL

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Bookshare has made an enormous difference for me and has changed how I feel about reading. Prior to getting started with Bookshare in fifth grade, I think I had only ever read three books (with help) in my entire school experience; within the first year after enrolling in Bookshare, I’d read over 100 books, including the Harry Potter series!

Ella Johnson, Student at Irondale High School in Minnesota

One student went from reading only graphic novels to reading chapter books from Bookshare that were over 500 pages long. Her reading scores skyrocketed and she ended up being the valedictorian of her graduating class.

Ben Griese, Special Education Teacher, New Stuyahok, Alaska

Jose is ten times happier! He is a different child and learner. He understands the stories, and his listening skills are acute. Bookshare gives Jose reading independence. He has meaningful conversations with friends and knows what he likes to read. Digital accessible books are an educational resource that all children with learning disabilities should have.

Lola Alvarez, Parent, Plano, TX

I have dyslexia and Bookshare has had a profound impact on my life. Prior to using Bookshare, I was a disengaged and struggling student. Using Bookshare, I could independently understand the information in school readings, participate in classes, and demonstrate my knowledge.

Brian M., Cornell University graduate and Microsoft employee

Bookshare is an essential component of my academic progress. If you ask any blind student what their best resource for educational material is, they will unequivocally agree it is Bookshare.

Shmuel B., blind student

A Few of Our Partners